Firewind – Firewind

Firewind – Firewind
AFM Records
Release Date: 15/05/2020
Running time: 47:27
Review by Alun Jones

We all make mistakes. Some of us blunder all the time, and the consequence of those slip-ups can be catastrophic. And some of us don’t like to admit when we’re wrong.

Confession time: I volunteered to review this Firewind album because I got them mixed up with another band with “fire” in the name (or possibly a couple). I was slightly mortified when I realised that this band weren’t what I was expecting: none of the sludgy comfort blanket that I usually wrap my ears in.

(I did wonder why Alun picked this but as Firewind are superb and contain a bona fide guitar god in Gus G then I decided not to mention it – Rick-Ed)

Firewind are – Zeus help me – a melodic, power metal band. Not a corner of metal that I’m particularly well versed in, or a fan of. I fucking hate Helloween, for a start. And Queensrÿche. And fucking Europe. This was going to be a challenge.

Yet your old pal Al is nothing if not a trooper. They’re (partially) Greek, which intrigued me being a huge fan of the country. I plunged into this assignment with an open mind – and do you know what? This isn’t bad at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it.

Opening track ‘Welcome To The Empire’ begins with some fine acoustic guitar before erupting into a big, bombastic rock monster. It is, like most of the album, totally over the top – but also loads of fist pumping fun. This ain’t pop music. It’s fast and powerful (see ‘Devour’), and while not quite as brutal as my usual preferences, packs a mighty wallop.

The musicianship is exemplary. Guitar genius Gus G has plenty of flair, but can throw out some crushing, crunchy riffs when required: ‘Rising Fire’ and ‘Space Cowboy’ being  two great examples. Fast, flashy solos ain’t my scene, but there’s plenty of chugging metal to keep me interested.

The rhythm section – Petros Christo (bass) and Jo Nunez (drums) go beyond textbook and play excellently throughout the album. Give ‘Orbitual Sunrise’ and ‘Overdrive’ a go for evidence…

Vocals provided by new singer Herbie Langhans are dramatic, in a typically Teutonic fashion. This guy is straight out of a Wagnerian epic; despite being somewhat more operatic than I’m used to, he can certainly belt it out. On every single song.

Sorry to disappoint any readers who thought they might actually read a less than positive review from yours truly. Firewind isn’t my usual cup of absinthe with opium chaser, but I found it very easy to appreciate. This album is well played, well written, well produced and delivered with some love and pride – all of which manages to steer this album away from trite cliché.

Metal wearing its heart on its sleeve and with a refreshing honesty, I just couldn’t bring myself to hate Firewind. If I can dig it, then fans of this genre will love it.

(Rick again! Alun gets bonus points for actually really liking this, after all, it is a great album but I’m going to have to talk to him about his dislike of Helloween and Queensrÿche…tut tut Mr. Jones) 😊

01. Welcome To The Empire
02. Devour
03. Rising Fire
04. Break Away
05. Orbitual Sunrise
06. Longing To Know You
07. Perfect Stranger
08. Overdrive
09. All My Life
10. Space Cowboy
11. Kill The Pain

Gus G – Guitar
Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Petro Christo – Bass
Jo Nunez – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.


01 Orthanc Logo


Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Belgian Melodic Power Metal band Orthanc! Huge thanks to vocalist Ortwin Lietaert for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Ortwin; I’m the band’s singer. We’ve been around since the early 90’s, but the history of the band members goes further than that. We’re all from the same area and have known each other since childhood. We were in different bands when we were kids, but there’s a truth in the saying that only the strong survive, and somehow we ended up in one and the same band.

How did you come up with your band name?

I read Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ for the first time when I was thirteen and must have read it fifteen more times ever since. I opted for any name from that book that sounded cool, just because I loved it so much. The other guys in the band came up with ‘ORTHANC’ and that was that. I’ve been explaining ever since that it has nothing to do with my first name.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from Belgium, and there’s a strong Metal Scene here. Bands like Oathbreaker, Channel Zero, La Muerte, Amen Ra and more have an international following. But there’s also a vivid underground scene. The only problem is that there is no real club scene. There’s only a handful of good clubs, so it’s a real problem to bring the music live. You can play, one or maybe two times a year in the same club, but then it ends. But there’s a pretty good festival scene, and one has to give it all in spring and summer.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

As a band we just brought out our first full album, after nearly thirty years. It’s called “Carnival”. Imagine that? We’ve all been involved in other bands and projects, and all band members have had enough studio experience to do this recording. We all knew what we wanted, and David Ooms, the magician from Reddrum Studios who recorded us, was on the same level of thinking we were, from the minute we met him. So the whole recording went like a charm. It has been great fun for all of us.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Really? Too much to mention! I bought my first LP, with my pocket money in 1978. “Van Halen I” to be precise. Since then I have only been on one quest. “The Quest for The Perfect RIFF” It has been a hard and long endurance, and after all my years of experience, I came to the conclusion, that there is no hope. Or wait, there’s heaps of hope. Every time some kid plugs a guitar into an amplifier, there’s a chance that he or she, finds the next perfect riff. And two minutes later, on the other side of the globe, some other kid finds the next perfect riff. The thing is, I’m on a constant quest for new music. And I never let the age of the musicians get in the way of admitting that I like it and that I might take a bit of what I just heard into the next rehearsals. As a singer, Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke among others blows me to pieces. When I listen to, for example, ‘ASTEROID’ from “Killing Joke” (2003) I really wonder how the man is still able to even whisper after a performance like that.

What first got you into music?

A couple of kids from my neighbourhood had a band but no singer. The rest is history.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Someone with a different musical style and background! Very curious what a collaboration with Skrillex or 21 Pilots would sound like.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

That would have to be Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium. Been visiting the Festival for 20 years as a fan! It should be fun seeing it from the other side.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Someone gave me a toilet brush with a fake microphone on the other end. Lol! Didn’t know if he wanted me to do rehearsals on the loo or if he thought my lyrics were shit.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Protest against any kind of injustice. Let your voice be heard. Politicians nowadays seem to be doing whatever they feel like, without listening to their voters, and most of them get away with that because no one objects after the deed is done. Silence will silence us.

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Eddie Cochran. The man died before he could prove he was the real king of rock ‘n’ roll.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the creative process when it comes to songwriting. Every member of the band focused on getting a song as perfect as possible. I don’t like all the hours a band has to wait between a soundcheck and the actual show. If I could get all those hours back I could take a five year holiday.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Online ticket sales. Back in the day one had to stand in line to buy concert tickets. That was fun. You met people in front of the record store all excited that their favourite band was coming and in a way that was when the concert started even if you had to wait for another two months before you would see the band. Now big corporations buy 1000 tickets at once and give them away to their customers, and the real fans don’t get a chance to buy tickets.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell”! Still sounds fresh every time I listen to it.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Hard to say! I only buy CD’s to support local bands. I download or even stream most of the music I listen to nowadays. But I still have part of my old vinyl collection that I play from time to time.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Five to twelve concert for Belgian national Radio more than twenty years ago. A sold out concert in one of Belgium’s nicest venues Vooruit at Ghent! I had visited that place to see Pantera, Tool, Alice in Chains you name ‘em. And then realizing that our band was on that same stage as all the bands I adored was a life changing experience.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Fishing must be really nice. Staring at an orange bobber for hours on end! Marvellous.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

The first five that promise they will leave their cell phone at home.

What’s next for the band?

With the album coming out now, play as much as we can and record some new material by the end of the year.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Bandcamp, Facebook and looking to get the new album on iTunes!

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

The guys from McVitie’s named them cakes. Who am I to disagree?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Keep it real.


02 Orthanc Promo Pic



Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Winter’s Edge – The Guardians of Our Time Pt 1


The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1 Cover

Release Date: 17/08/2018
Running Time: 35:43
Review by Lotty Whittingham

It was only last year that Winter’s Edge officially became a band. It was initially started as a solo project by guitarist Jeremy Lawler in the year 2009. It was set up to feature different musicians from around the world.

Those years have seen them experiment with their sound; include talent from the underground metal scene and line-up changes. After a two-year break, they have worked tirelessly to bring forth their latest release “The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1” It shows listeners a solid collection of songs that will open more doors for the band regarding their career and their already huge sound has the potential to grow further. It also shows that the band are back and they mean business.

The album gets off to a promising start with the intro tracks ‘Open Worlds’ and ‘Guardians Of Our Time’; ‘Open Worlds’ is the atmospheric instrumental that has the listener glued and intrigued right away. ’Guardians Of Our Time’ gives the listener a first glimpse of the talent that is to be expected on the album; from the versatile vocal work of Charlotte Jones to the pounding drum work from Ed Anderson.

Across the album, it is clear why over the years their fan base has grown very quickly. The versatile selection of songs on the album showcase what Winter’s Edge have to offer in terms of musical talent and there is something about the band’s sound that makes someone want to be a better version of themselves.

The pounding rhythm alongside the dominant riff in ‘Path Of Desperation’ ensures that the listener is ready and willing for what’s to come next. The fist pumping energy the track gives off is infectious and will bring you to life in a recorded or live setting.

‘Dying Star’ is a beautiful ballad that initially makes the listener think they will be taking a break from the ground-breaking distortion. Don’t be fooled, this is a deception. It doesn’t make the ballad any less stunning, in fact it adds to this great track. The growls alongside the clean vocals in this track work together well, showing the vast range of Charlotte Jones’ vocals.

It ends on an excellent note with ‘In The End’ and ‘Through The Ferryman’s Eyes’. ‘The former provides one last blast of the bands talent before the latter brings the album to a close with an atmospheric interlude. The song contains excellent guitar work, vocal talent and some great musicianship.

Long-time fans of the band will know that The Ferryman has had great significance throughout the band’s career. The title of their first album was “The Ferryman’s Eyes” so it is great to see a reference to their previous material and that they haven’t forgotten their roots.

By the end of the album, you are left wanting more. You are not ready for it to end. “The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1” marks a triumphant return from Winter’s Edge. Keep your eyes peeled and ears out for them; you would be a fool to miss them!
1. Open Worlds
2. Guardians Of Our Time
3. Path Of Desperation
4. Momentarily
5. Break It Up
6. Dying Star
7. Fatal Dreams
8. In The End
9. Through The Ferryman’s Eyes
Banner, Promo Pic


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.